The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published the Online Harms White Paper on April 8th 2019, setting out the government’s plans for a ‘world-leading package of measures to keep UK users safe online’. It highlighted legislative and non-legislative measures with the intention to make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups.
SWGfL, as a charity that ensures children benefit from technology, free from harm, broadly welcomed the Online Harms White Paper and its intent.
Alongside publishing the Online Harms White Paper, the Government sought views on various aspects of the plans for regulation and tackling online harms. Drawing on its experience, evidence and operations over the last 20 years, SWGfL drafted and submitted a response.
The SWGfL response covered all areas but primarily related to:
- Online Harms – the extent to which this is an issue and the options for users to report their concerns and complaints.
- Education – the approach that online safety education has taken over the last 20 years in protecting children online and the suggested role of formal and informal education into the future. Given the education landscape across the UK, a recognition that a high degree of collaboration will be required into the future.
- Funding – the importance and impact of activities responding to online harms and threats to funding.